Preservationist Determined in Woodward Win

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Preservationist | Sarah Andrew

After airing in the GII Suburban S. at Belmont Park in early July with a career-best 108 Beyer Speed Figure, the late-blooming 6-year-old Preservationist (Arch) looked well on his way of becoming a force in the handicap division.

While the Centennial Farms colorbearer could do no better than a tiring fourth after setting the pace at a well-backed 2-1 in the GI Whitney S. Aug. 3, the handsome bay bounced back with a game half-length victory over longshot Bal Harbour (First Samurai) in Saturday's GI Woodward S. at the Spa. It was another half-length back to the race's defending winner 'TDN Rising Star' Yoshida (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}), who closed powerfully from last of eight to finish third.

“It was a nice, even race from him,” winning trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. “Perfect for the kind of horse that he is–even paced. He's got a good cruising speed, but it looked like he was just galloping. When he gets into a nice rhythm like that, he's going to run his race. I didn't think he was going to get there at first, but when one of the horses started to fade and it began to open up a little bit, I was pretty confident after that.”

Jerkens added, “It means a lot to win this race. It's a big thrill to win with everybody involved.”

“We were lucky enough to win it a couple of years ago with Shaman Ghost [2016] as well,” Jerkens said. “My dad won the Woodward as well [1973, Prove Out]. It's always great to win these big stakes races here in New York.”

Sent off at odds of 3-1, Preservationist bumped with rivals from both sides shortly after the start. He was always traveling well on the inside in third from there while under a snug hold by Junior Alvarado as streaking New York-bred Mr. Buff (Friend Or Foe) led the field through fractions of :23.98 and :47.97.

Bal Harbour and Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) were among the first to take on the tiring pacesetter approaching the quarter pole while Preservationist was caught behind a wall of horses. The latter finally found clear run, threading the needle between Bal Harbour and Tom's d'Etat in the stretch and he fought on gamely down the lane to register a career high.

“He was a little more settled today than when he was in the Whitney [fourth-place],” Jerkens said. “I'm sure we'll take a look at the [GI] Jockey Club Gold Cup [Sept. 28], but he's run pretty close together his last three starts. Obviously, the year-end goal you have to look at the [GI] Breeders' Cup Classic as to where we want to be. We'll come up with a plan to get there ready.”

Perfect in two starts at the Big A in 2018, Preservationist was third in a sloppy 6 1/2-furlong allowance Jan. 5. His aforementioned win in the Suburban-his stakes debut-capped a three-race winning streak.

Pedigree Notes:

Preservationist is an Emory Hamilton product through and through. Hamilton bred Preservationist and has been involved with his family through five generations. She bred his first three dams while her grandfather's King Ranch bred his fourth and fifth dam. Hamilton or her family also bred Preservationist's sire Arch, as well as his first two dams. Hamilton tends to sell colts out of her stellar broodmare band, with Preservationist a $485,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2014 and Arch a $710,000 yearling at Keeneland July in 1996. Arch, who died in 2016 of an apparent heart attack while standing at Claiborne Farm, sired U.S. champion Blame and Canadian Horse of the Year Arravale among his 70 blacktype winners to date. Preservationist is the 12th Grade I winner for Arch. Preservationist's dam, Flying Dixie, produced only two foals before her death in 2013. The other is gelding Madiba (Candy Ride {Arg}), who sold for $700,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September sale and most recently ran Aug. 19 at Prairie Meadows, finishing sixth. Flying Dixie is a half-sister to MGSW Hungry Island (More Than Ready), GSW Soaring Empire (Empire Maker), and GSP Tokyo Time (Medaglia d'Oro). Her granddam, Chic Shirine (Mr. Prospector), won the 1987 GI Ashland S., produced two GSWs, and has six GSWs out of her daughters, including GI winners Serra Lake (Seattle Slew), Somali Lemonade (Lemon Drop Kid), and Verrazano (More Than Ready).

Saturday, Saratoga
WOODWARD S. PRESENTED BY NYRA BETS-GI, $750,000, Saratoga, 8-31, 3yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:48.11, ft.
1–PRESERVATIONIST, 120, h, 6, by Arch
1st Dam: Flying Dixie, by Dixieland Band
2nd Dam: Flying Passage, by A.P. Indy
3rd Dam: Chic Shirine, by Mr. Prospector
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($485,000 Ylg '14 KEESEP). O-Centennial Farms; B-Emory A. Hamilton (KY); T-James A. Jerkens; J-Junior Alvarado. $400,000. Lifetime Record: 10-6-1-2, $1,037,300.  Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A.
2–Bal Harbour, 118, g, 4, First Samurai–Casino Transaction, by Carson City. O-Red Oak Stable (Brunetti); B-Red Oak Stable (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $140,000.
3–Yoshida (Jpn), 124, h, 5, Heart's Cry (Jpn)–Hilda's Passion, by Canadian Frontier. (¥94,000,000 Ylg '15 JRASAL). O-China Horse Club International Ltd., WinStar Farm,LLC, Head of Plains Partners LLC; B-Northern Farm (JPN); T-William I. Mott. $75,000.
Margins: HF, HF, 3/4. Odds: 3.05, 16.90, 2.00.
Also Ran: Tom's d'Etat, Mongolian Groom, Wooderson, Mr. Buff, Forewarned. Scratched: Vino Rosso.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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